A pipeline is a route, channel, or system that allows the continuous flow of something valuable. For an educator, nothing is more valuable than information. The greatest educator then is the one who absorbs knowledge and converts it into content then transmits it through multiple channels to end users. The essence of a fantastic information pipeline is that it enables flow. This consists of four elements:
F – Finding and filtering of information;
L – Linking and loading into the pipeline;
O – Ownership and output of information;
W – Weaving and widening of the pipeline.
Each element represents important functions of an information pipeline.
Finding and filtering of information
The universal inclination of the human mind is to be driven by what is seen (observation) rather than what is known (reflection). The observation of life enables the finding of good knowledge and the reflection on that knowledge facilitates better information.
Forage for knowledge
Information is gold. Good information sharpens clarity of understanding and enables excellent decision making. The finding of information is therefore a paramount pursuit for any average human. With solid information, we are a whole lot better than without any information. Properly filtered information can truly unleash power in an individual’s life or operations. It takes a lot of prospecting to find information. Once found, it must be filtered through careful analysis to arrive at truth. Truth is best handled when found rather than when received. Just as it takes digging through a lot of dirt before arriving at gold, so it is with good information.
My quest for information really began in 1998. I was a student at the University of Nairobi with a passion for engaging in spiritual development. Through serendipity, I became a member of a unique library that offered the opportunity to keep books read if a two-page report was turned in on what was read. I focused on leadership books and gained a lot of insight from the process. My book, Quest for Light, developed during these seasons of search. Information is light. The search is vital. The sieve is critical.
Linking and loading into the pipeline
Information must be turned into intelligence for it to truly be beneficial to the individual and community. We gain understanding when we make linkages to what we already know. Refining this process is what creates the edge called ‘smarts’. The mind may absorb a high quantity of information but the brain only churns out quality information. Through proper linking and loading, we can achieve smarts of intelligence. Gain the edge by choosing to be smarter in content integration.
Information acquisition is an art that requires assimilation. One gathers information that is related to what one already knows. Through a process of integration, one makes connections that enable new information to be usable. This intricate relationship is critical for personal development and information flow.
My life was transformed in college when a mentor told me that “what is in you, forms you”. At that time I was an undergraduate student. I made a decision that day that I would become a constant learner. I started by listening to leadership audio tapes that I received from a ‘Read-to-Lead’ library that I was a member of. I would walk on the campus of the university with headphones in my ears and a Walkman in my pockets. Many would think that I was listening to music but I was listening to leadership audio tapes. You can gain the learner’s edge. Embrace the practice of loading new information into the pipeline. Intelligence grows when we gain new understanding and clarify association to what we already know.
Ownership and output of information
Nothing that is worth having can be had without a transfer of ownership. Likewise, nothing can ever be given away without some kind of output. The intake of information is fantastic. It leads to ownership of a body of knowledge. The output of information, however, is the elixir that turns knowledge into wisdom.
The body of knowledge that an individual possesses is essential for survival. However, it is the interchange of that knowledge through a community of action and performance that enables growth. Humans are designed to operate in schools of thought within which vital information is transformed into valued knowledge. Higher ground emerges as the dynamic process of information output achieves efficacy within an environment. Publishing content is a prime avenue for disseminating information. Through output of information, new understandings are developed which refine what is known. The beauty of a great information pipeline is that the quality of information gets better over time.
My grasp of information thrived when I embraced books. Books are true levelers. Books enabled me to become EQUIPPED for the journey that I sought. By using books faithfully, I am:
Educated to support others
Qualified to teach others
Uplifted to raise others
Inspired to motivate others
Prepared to serve others
Positioned to help others
Encouraged to mentor others
Devoted to develop others
Weaving and widening of the pipeline
The WISE PATH:
We live in an age of information overload, and must weave our information pipeline with deep wisdom. The great leader is the one who personifies wisdom. Wisdom enables the sorting and application of knowledge within the breadth of the information pipeline.
We live in an era of loud voices, and must widen our information pipeline with sound intellect. The great leader is the one who amplifies intellect. Intellect, properly exploited, facilitates the extraction of information and it’s broad dissemination within society.
We live in a generation of tremendous knowledge, and must weave our information pipeline with good sense-making. The great leader is the one who transfers good sense to others. Sense-making enables good decision-making and guides the transfer of knowledge.
We live in a time of echo chambers, and must widen our information pipeline with accurate educating. The great leader is the one who heartily educates others. Educating heartily means communicating what matters so that society utilizes rather than drowns in information.
Finding and filtering of information; linking and loading into the pipeline; ownership and output of information; and weaving and widening of the pipeline are learning tools for adding to the educator’s arsenal.
~ Dr. Herman Najoli
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